Thursday, August 7, 2014

Adventure #218: 121BC

The other restaurant on the "choice" list of the SCMP which we decided to try is 121BC.  It was tucked away on a side street in Central.  First impression - small and cosy. Rather promising.

The restaurant only consisted of 1 long table sitting maybe 30 people and a long narrow table top with bar stools.  So it felt rather different when we were first seated as the restaurant was only half full at the time.

There is no menu, only a large chalk board at one end of the room.  With the dim lights it was quite impossible to read. So the lady gave us the ipad with a picture of the chalk board so we can order.

You can choose 8 dishes at $500pp but we prefer to order separately. The restaurant reviews indicated that their wine list was pretty impressive stocked with mainly boutique Italian producers.  What surprised me was how much a glass cost (well over HKD100 on ave).  The 2 glasses of reds we ordered was very mediocre at best and nowhere near the Chiantis, Brunellos or Amarones that we drink at home on a regular basis.  The waitress then let slip that these boutiques are much cheaper than the more well known producers.  It's  fine to promote your "boutique" wines if they taste on par or better but not when it is sub standard and cost even more than the better known producers. 

Homemade ricotta, eggplant, oregano, chilli.  Nice but pretty ordinary and nothing unusual.

Calamari, green beans, lentils, tomato.  A bit taken aback when I saw this dish.  Tasted worse than it looked.  Bland. Nothing Italian about this, like a fake Thai dish.

Caramelised lamb ribs, pomegranate, caraway.  This was the best dish of the evening but even then, we have had much better ribs elsewhere.

Whole sea bream.  This was the worst dish. The fish was not fresh (a crime in HK where fresh fishes can be bought almost everywhere!), the meat was mushy.  Totally lost interest in this.

Can't even remember which one this was.  By now, we just wanted to finish the meal and leave (not a usual move for us). Dessert was ok.

As the restaurant started to fill up, the place just felt so cramped.  Not a nice feeling squashed on both sides by strangers.  And the noise........

The food was absolutely disappointing.  Shocking that the SCMP reviewers rated this place with a "star".  For the price they charge, this restaurant would rank at the bottom quartile vs its peers.  No way I would recommend this place to anyone, even for half the price.

42-44 Peel Street
Tel: 2395 0200

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